National and Provincial Level Fertility Trends in Iran, 1972–2006 [chapter]

2009 The Fertility Transition in Iran: Revolution and Reproduction  
The Islamic Republic of Iran has experienced major cultural, religious, political, economic and demographic changes during the last three decades. The three decades following the 1966 Census are very important as they reveal the demographic changes occurring due to different population policies in Iran; an antinatalist policy adopted by the monarchy during 1967-78; a pronatalist policy during 1979-1988; and an antinatalist policy introduced by the Islamic government since 1988. Therefore, Iran
more » ... 8. Therefore, Iran is a remarkable case study of the interwoven processes of cultural, social, economic, political and demographic change. This paper aims to review the trends and changes in fertility in Iran. Own-children data from the 1986 and 1996 Censuses as well as the 2000 Iran Demographic and Health Survey (IDHS) allow us to analyze single-year fluctuations of fertility over the last three decades. The paper describes the levels, trends and patterns of fertility in Iran by rural and urban areas during the period 1972-2000. Then, provincial-level fertility trends and patterns are examined at both rural and urban areas. Next, attention is then given to the attainment of below-replacement level fertility in various provinces of Iran. Finally, the future prospect for fertility is discussed. The results show that Iran experienced modest decline in fertility during the 1970s followed by a rise in fertility during the 1976-1984 period, partly due to the suspension of the family planning program by the government. The rise was, however, short lived. The Total Fertility Rate began to decline from 1985 and has declined sharply since 1988 dropping from 5.5 in 1988 to below 2.8 in 199. It reached near-replacement level (2.26) during the period 1998-2000. The figure for the year 2000 is 2.17. The decline has been observed in all provinces and urban and rural areas of the country despite varying levels of socio-economic development. Several provinces and urban as well as rural areas of the country have experienced below-replacement level fertility. We argue that fertility in Iran will continue to fall in the present decade and, maybe, beyond this decade. A long period of below replacement fertility that corresponds with the years in which the very large post-revolutionary birth cohort passes through the childbearing years would be a favourable outcome for Iranian development as it would limit the expected rise in births ensuing from the baby-boom generation's echo effect, so long as this does not lead to social entrenchment of very low fertility (under 1.5 births per woman).
doi:10.1007/978-90-481-3198-3_3 fatcat:2d3vfwgmuzh4ncoqwptmjndhzy